Thursday, March 20, 2014

Motoring the ICW, West Palm to Manatee Pocket Florida

After our Saturday sail to West Palm we spent our first night on the hook.  Even on anchor Robin wanted to sail.  It heeled and tried to sail away all night long. Adam and Clyde watched Robin snake circles around the anchor as if it had a mind of it's own. Scratching their heads in bewilderment, they occasionally radioed us to make sure we weren't dragging. We weren't. I guess Robin, like us, just can't stay in one place for too long without growing restless. Or maybe, now that it's tasted real salt, it's jonesing for more.

Sunday morning we set out back to Stuart. Adam in his 1978 Seafarer 38, Seeker, us in Robin. Clyde rode with us for the first hour then hopped on Adam's boat. And I do mean hopped. While motoring up the ICW, we pulled up close enough to Adam's boat for him to jump across.  Clyde and Adam went on and AJ and I stopped for fuel. After a long trip to West Palm, I, at least, wanted to touch ground and see where we'd landed. So we had a beer and took a mile walk before proceeding up the ICW.

It was a calm and confidence building experience.  We motored through the heavy water traffic and 7 or 8 lift bridges. I learned how to radio a bridge and hold to in mixed winds and currents until the scheduled openings.  We had no definite plans to get all the way back to Stuart.  We kept our eyes out for an anchorage or somewhere fun to spend the night, but there wasn't much after Jupiter, and with the current in our favor we were making good time.  We arrived in Manatee Pocket at high tide about 20 minutes after dark. Motoring in the dark wasn't much trouble, but it would have been nice if the channel markers inside the Pocket were lit.  Though we spotted them easily enough with a flash light.  Adam and Clyde hailed us on the radio when we came in sight of the anchorage.

A little ways after Jupiter in the early evening we found ourselves alone on the ICW. There was no water traffic between Peck Lake and the Pocket at all.  But just as we settled into our solitude we were joined by a loan dolphin. He delighted us with his company until sunset. 


  1. I'm so happy for you guys! It looks amazing!

  2. Total stranger here, enjoying your blog. Here's a grain-of-salt piece of advice regarding sailing at anchor. The solution that works for us on our Mason 44 (similar lines and keel shape, only larger) is to a) use an all chain rode, b) use a snubber to bring the angle of the chain down to the waterline (and here's the critical point) c) lead the snubber through the bow chock that favors the wind. That is, watch your boat as it begins to sail at anchor. It will probably tend to go jaunting off more in one direction than the other. Putting the wind more to port or to starboard, depending on the air flow and the anchor fairies or . . . Run your snubber through the bow chock on that side, the one where the wind seems to cause the most trouble.

    For us, that gives us just enough angle off the wind to hold us more or less steady, unless the current starts partying, and then all bets are off.

    Keep on.

    1. Thanks so much for the advice! Total newbs here so much appreciated! We'll try that next time.


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